The Berkeley Math Circle (BMC) is a weekly program for over 500 San Francisco Bay Area elementary, middle and high school students. The weekly sessions are held on Tuesdays evenings at the UC Berkeley campus. The program is jointly sponsored by the:
- UC Berkeley Mathematics Department
- UC Berkeley Statistics Department
- UC Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department
- Mathematical Science and Research Institute (MSRI)
- Simons Institute for Theory of Computing
- The Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab (BAIR)
- Vanguard Charitable, and
- Parents' Contribution
Emulating famous Eastern European models, the program aims at drawing kids to mathematics, preparing them for mathematical contests, introducing them to the wonders of beautiful mathematical theories, and encouraging them to undertake future careers linked with mathematics, whether as mathematicians, mathematics educators, economists, or business entrepreneurs. Read more about the BMC.
Math Taught the Right Way
MATH TAUGHT THE RIGHT WAY is a math program of the Berkeley Math Circle for middle and high school students, held at UC Berkeley, for 3 hours 5-8pm on Thursdays throughout the academic year. The program is intellectually demanding, testing and encouraging the mental development of students in a content-rich and challenging environment of algebra, geometry, and problem solving. The MTRW does NOT conform to generic U.S. labels of math classes (e.g., Algebra 1, Algebra 2, etc.). By the end of 8th grade the MTRW will have surpassed the regular U.S. math curriculum by a lot, not just in breath but more importantly in depth. Learning to "read and write mathematics" is a skill that is emphasized at the MTRW as the basis for communicating mathematics.
Spring 2018 Math Taught the Right Way
Information about MTRW Spring 2018 registration will be posted on the website in November 2017. Please check the website regularly for updates.
The Fall 2017 Math Taught the Right Way is FULL - Registration closed
We have reached 100% capacity for MTRW Fall 2017. If you would like to purchase the books that we use in the program to study on your own and prepare for the spring 2018, you can come see us in person during office hours (posted in the contact page).
- Start date: August 31, 2017.
- End date: December 14, 2017.
Brief Description of MTRW Fall 2017 groups
- 6A group: 5 pm - 8 pm (Algebra, Geometry, Problem Solving); intended for 6th graders, and for advanced 5th graders, and motivated 7th graders who lack some background.
- 7A group: 5 pm - 8 pm (Problem Solving, Algebra, Geometry); intended for 7th graders, and for advanced 6th graders, and motivated 8th graders who lack some background.
- 8A group: 5pm - 8 pm (Proofs, Geometry, Algebra); intended for 8th graders, and for advanced 7th graders, and motivated 9th - 11th graders. The material in the 8A group will likely never be experienced in such depth in school.
- 8A sub-group: 5pm - 7 pm (Proofs, Geometry); intended for 9th - 11th graders. The material in the 8A group will likely never be experienced in such depth in school.
- 8A sub-group: 5pm - 6 pm (Proofs); intended for 9th - 11th graders. The material in the 8A group will likely never be experienced in such depth in school.
Spring 2018 Berkeley Math Circle
Information about BMC Spring 2018 application will be posted on the website in December 2017. Please check the website regularly for updates.
Berkeley Math Circle Upper Fall 2017 - Application CLOSED
We have reached 100% capacity for BMC Fall 2017.
Reserve emails only for emergencies, not convenience. Staff will be on break periodically during summer and will not answer admin questions.
At the circle, we direct most resources to the academic quality of the program. Therefore, we expect participants and families to be organized and respect our minimal admin staff's workload. When you have important questions, you need to invest the time and effort in coming to office to have them answered. Most questions can be answered through the information posted here on this website.
DO NOT send email inquiries about your application status. You will be contacted via email when your admission decision is made.
Vinayak Kumar Earned Gold Medal at the WMTC
Vinayak returns to the Circle with a gold medal around his neck, placing 5th individually in the Advanced Division at the World Mathematics Team Championships. Congratulations, and welcome home!
BMC Alumnus Laura Pierson Continues to Reap Awards
Seasoned circler and alumnus, Laura Pierson, keeps going on her mathematical journey with great success. She placed in the top five at the Math Prize Contest in 2016 among all girls in the U.S., earning herself a gold medal. This year, in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, she has been named the Top 300 Scholar. Her talent also earns her a spot in the top 40 finalists to compete later in the year. We look forward to hearing good news while cheering for her on this journey.
Bio: Laura is currently a senior in high school and still connected to BMC. She coordinates the Monthly Contest and the awards. She has also given lectures at the Circle. Laura won the USAJMO in 2015 while she was in 10th grade, placing in top 12. In 7th grade, Laura, being the youngest member of the USA team, won a silver medal at the European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) in Luxembourg.
BMC Alumnus published his first Geometry textbook!
A familiar face at the Circle, Evan Chen, has recently published Euclidean Geometry in Math Olympiads through the Mathematical Association of America while still attending MIT. You can read more about his book here.
Bio: Evan won a gold medal in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) over the summer of 2014! He represented the Taiwanese team (which came in 3rd). Evan actually came in second at the USAMO earlier that year, the final round of the USA Olympiad. Evan finished his freshman year of college at Harvard and is now starting his sophomore year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Evan will be in contact with the BMC through his Monthly Contest problems.
Berkeley Math Circle student Evan Chen, also the coordinator for the Monthly Contest at BMC for the past three years, solved all six problems at USAMO (the last round of the USA Math Olympiad). He was placed #2 in the USA with 41 points and was among the top 3 winners awarded with Akami Foundation Scholarship! Even more astonishingly, he qualified at the same time on the Taiwanese team and participated in the International Mathematical Olympiad this summer in Cape Town, South Africa, from July 3-13 , 2014.
Evan Chen graduated from lrvington High School in Fremont, CA, this year and will attend Harvard College in the fall. Evan earned a Gold medal in the 2013 Asian-Pacific Math Olympiad, and will be participating on the Taiwan team at the 2014 lnternational Mathematical Olympiad (lMO). He enjoys programming, typesetting documents in LaTeX, and playing StarCraft on the nights before major contests. Evan applies his skill as a competitor in mathematical competitions to writing mathematical problems. Evan thanks his teachers, Miss Chiu and Mrs. Rothfuss, for their continual support and Dr. Zvezda Stankova, of the Berkeley Math Circle, for her invaluable mentorship. lt is noteworthy that Evan took this USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) in Taiwan from 12:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. while in Taiwan.
Espen writes a poem!
BMC student Espen has written a beautiful poem called "My True Number". We wanted to share as it is quite appropriate for the Berkeley Math Circle! Please do not take out the poem without copyright.
My True Number
By Espen Slettnes, Jan 6th, 2014
My shadow and I stood in a complex plane.
"What value are you?" I winked and asked.
"3435i", said he, and he asked me mine.
I said I was 33+44+33+55.
"That's what I am, but times i"he replied.
Our eyes met and danced
as we added and multiplied and exponentiated and tertiated
until we reached the magnitude of beauty,
in the silence of ∞, where I saw my true self.
I spoke no words but the simple language of the universe.
I rose and vaporized into numbers,
integrated with the Universe,
and we became 1.
- The complex plane is a way to represent all complex numbers in 2 dimensions. A complex number is made up of a real and imaginary part.
- i is the imaginary unit, defined as √ -1
- Tertiation is repeated exponentiation, which is repeated multiplication, which is repeated addition.
- ∞ means infinity - larger than any number
- (33+44+33+55) = 3435 (each digit raised to its own power)
Copyright © 2014 Espen Slettnes. All rights reserved.
Berkeley Math Circle featured on "The Monthly"!
The Berkeley Math Circle has been featured "The Monthly," East Bay's Premier Magazine of Culture and Commerce, titled "Proving Their Passion" by Sarah Weld. Check out the Berkeley Math Circle on the news here!
Nico Brown of the Berkeley Math Circle wins first place at the Berkeley Mini-Math Tournament!
BMC's own Nico Brown won the Berkeley mini Math Tournament (BmMT), the middle school student variant to the BMT for high school students, this past weekend.
Nico's score in the Individual round placed him into the top six students who entered the final Countdown elimination round, a series of timed questions... and he emerged the overall champion!
He wouldn't have got there without Team BMC coached by Intermediate Circle parent Tor Slettnes--Vincent Pisani, Arav Karighattam, Nate Fish, Espen Slettnes, and Nico--so congratulations to all!